What is geolocation and how it works? Examples explained

Finding and sharing locations is a common phenomenon in digital connections. We have seen apps like Facebook and WhatsApp where people easily share their locations with each other. But what is geolocation, and how does it help find people so quickly and accurately? This article deals with all the information you need to have a clear understanding of what geolocation is all about. We will discuss what exactly geolocation is with examples and how to use it to your benefit. You will also learn the best method to track someone‘s geolocation. At the end of the article, you will have a clear understanding of the geolocation and its procedures. Let’s begin right away!

What is geolocation?

what is geolocation

Geolocation refers to the method of locating or finding the desired electronic device that has compatibility with GPS technology. People use it to identify or estimate the area where the target device may be present. It is used for multiple reasons.

General people use it to locate their lost phones and other devices that support this technology. There are some advanced uses of this geolocation technology. These methods are generally adopted to minimize the area of the device’s location.

In addition to the GPS, the device should also have WiFi for smooth operations. If the desired device has a cellular connection, it will be easier to get geolocation data. However, many phones use geolocation as the method.

What is geolocation tracking?

Geolocation is widely used to track electronic devices that have GPS connectivity. If shared, the geolocation can help you get a fair idea of the device’s location. The tracking invokes continuous monitoring of the location data. If the device is moving, the geolocation technology provides updates automatically. Hence, the user who wants to have tracking facilities for his lost phones or to monitor his child’s activities.

The geolocation technology has many practical uses. You can use it in digital maps to provide an idea of the device’s location. Many digital activities, like fitness trackers, step counters, and even check-ins, use this technology to disclose the location. This is the technology that allows us to get live updates of weather, along with weather forecasts.

What is geolocation data?

Geolocation data refers to the location data that you use to locate an area or an object. The data is of core importance when it comes to tracking and finding the desired location.

Generally, these are the coordinates of the area where the area, person, and device is located. You may also refer to it as the latitude and longitude of the desired location. Then you use these coordinates to reach the target location.

As stated earlier, technologies like GPS, Internet connection, and mobile network play pivotal roles in determining the geolocation data. The data changes as the target location changes. So, you will have to rely on real-time updates with the updated coordinates to provide surprisingly accurate results.

Devices like mobile phones with GPS technology may get connected and synchronized. It continuously sends the geolocation data as per the updates. Many apps that deal with location-based services use this geolocation data.

What is geolocation example?

If you have a little interest in technology, you must be aware of applications like Google Earth, Google Map, and other location-based services like Uber and Lyft. All such apps are geolocation examples, as they work on the basis of a geographical location.

The best example from our daily lives to describe geolocation may be the live location sharing at WhatsApp. As we use WhatsApp for chatting and sharing media, it is also known to facilitate the overall sharing process.

You must have noticed that there are two options to share location with the other WhatsApp user. You can either share your simple or live location with other users. Both options use geolocation services to pinpoint the location of the sender.

In live locations, the other user gets information of another person’s location just by tapping on the location options. The live location keeps updating automatically as the mobile phone owner moves around. WhatsApp allows a limited number of hours for the live location to stay alive.

If your device has an active GPS, you can easily share your location using the location sharing apps. The location sharing feature keeps updating from time to time. Usually, it gets improved to hint at the place nearest to the targeted phone. If you want to be more accurate in sending your location, you should wait for sometime and let WhatsApp improve the distance.

The steps to use this WhatsApp feature

Step 1. Open a chat on your WhatsApp and tap the button for attachments.

Step 2. Click “Location.”

WhatsApp feature

Step 3. You have three options to send your location. You may send the “Live location,” “Current location,” or the nearest point from the suggestions shown below.

Current location

The other person will click the location sent by you and will be able to access it via maps (Google Maps). It is one of the simplest examples of sharing geolocation.

sharing geolocation

Why is my geolocation wrong?

If your geolocation is wrong, there may be many factors contributing to this error. Let’s discuss some of them below:

  • Device’s settings: One of the most common reasons for wrong geolocation is the device’s settings. Your device may not have allowed permissions to share location.
  • Internet not working: Internet is at the core of sharing information, including geolocations. So, if you are working in a slow Internet environment, the location sharing will not be calculated accurately.
  • GPS not working: Some devices may have issues with the GPS. As GPS is the main feature to look for locations, having bad GPS will not yield accurate results about the location.
  • Physical blockage: You may need to revisit the place from where you are trying to send the geolocation. If there are blockages, the internet and the GPS will not work properly.
  • Location sharing app: You need to check if your location sharing app is working fine. Sometimes, the location sharing app doesn’t work properly.
  • Issue with the other device: If everything at your end is working fine, don’t rule out the option of checking the device that received the location. Check for all the parameters we discussed in the above portion.

How to turn on geolocation on iPhone?

It is quite easy to turn on geolocation on an iPhone. Let’s learn it step by step for the process.

Step 1. Go to your iPhone’s settings, and tap “Privacy.”

turn on geolocation on iPhone

Step 2. Access the “Location Services.”

Location Services

Step 3. Toggle the switch on next to the option of “Location Services.”

switch on Location Services

After turning this switch on, your iPhone will start using the GPS technology and the internet to keep record of the locations your iPhone is present at.

How to geolocate a photo?

In this section, you need to provide steps to geolocate a photo.

You can also geolocate a photo using many methods. Modern digital photos usually have a time stamp on them. In addition to the time, there are ways to find out where the pictures were taken. Additionally, the photos also have metadata that can be used to geolocate a photo.

Following are some of the methods to geolocate a photo:

Step 1. Enable your device’s location services by accessing your device’s settings.

Step 2. Go to your device’s “Camera” app and click the settings icon to see the options.

geolocate a photo

Step 3. Check for the “Location Tags,” and make sure that the button is toggled on.

Location Tags

This way, you will be able to geolocate your photos according to their dates.

How to access geolocated photos?

You can use the following methods to check geolocated photos:

  • Device’s gallery: Your geolocated photos can be accessed in your devices gallery. Make sure that you always allow location permissions to your device’s camera. You can geolocate a photo according to their dates in your device’s gallery. You can check
  • Google Photos: Google Photos is one of the most efficient apps to geolocate your photos. If you have logged in to your Google account and have kept the Google Photos in your phone, you can geolocate your photos according to their timeline.
  • Using geotagging apps: There are many geotagging apps available on play stores. You can download these apps to put a virtual stamp on your photos. You can use these apps to geolocate a photo on the map.

Bonus: How to track someone’s geolocation?

Do you want the easiest, accurate, and most convenient way to track someone’s geolocation? You can do it using the FlashGet Kids app. This app makes it super easy to track someone using simple steps. This app is especially designed for parents to track and control the activities of their children.

All you need to do is to download the app on your phone and download the FlashGet Kids for child app on the target phone.

FlashGet Kids app

Just go ahead and sign up for an account on the main app and link the target phone’s account with your main account. Grant permissions that the app asks for in the other phone, and there you go.

You will be able to track someone’s phone automatically. This app shares live notifications on your phone about all the activities of your child, including the information about your loved ones’ geolocation. You just need to define the geofence area of your child on your main app. Whenever your child leaves that area, you will get a notification.

geofence

You just have to access the dashboard on your main app. You will be able to check all the activities of your child there. The app will tell you if your child is within the geolocation that you defined or outside that area.

geolocation

Additionally, you will get reports and alerts for other activities of your child on your app’s dashboard. Just define your parameters, and you will have full control of your child’s device.

leave Geofence

The FlashGet KidsKids is an awesome tool to locate someone. If you are worried about the safety and security of your loved ones, this is the only tool you need in your phone.

FAQs

Mobile devices use multiple sensors and GPS technology to identify your geographical location. These tools and sensors include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi positioning, NFC. Other helping sensors include accelerometer and gyroscopes.   
If you turn off geolocation, your phone’s location services will not work properly. You may have issues about sharing your live location and other location-related data. Some apps that rely on geolocation, like Maps will stop working properly.  
Location may be referred to as the simple address where a person is present at a certain time. Location may involve information regarding latitude and longitude. Geolocation is a broader concept compared to location. In addition to the latitude and longitude, it may involve detailed information like altitude, direction, and speed.
Modern cell phones have improved a lot in giving information about geolocation. The location shared using the GPS technology with the help of high-speed internet may be accurate to a few meters.

About the author

Kidcaring, Chief Writer in FlashGet Kids.
She is dedicated to shaping parental control in the digital world. She is an experienced expert in the parenting industry and has engaged in reporting and writing different parental control apps. For the past five years, she has provided additional parental guides for the family and has contributed to changing parenting methods.

Leave a Comment